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A Prototype of Flywheel Energy Storage System

Suspended by Active Magnetic Bearings

with PID controller
Weiwei Zhang Yefa Hu
School of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering
Wuhan University of technology
Wuhan, China, 430070
AbstractIn this paper, a prototype miniature of flywheel shaped rotor measures 302 mm in outer diameter and 156 mm
energy storage system is developed. The structure and dynamics in inner diameter. The rotor mass is 1.01kg, which is supported
characteristic of the flywheel energy storage system are by attractive force produced by three active magnetic bearings.
discussed. The system consists of a disk-shaped rotor, active In order to suppress the rotor vibration, PID control is applied
magnetic bearing (AMB), PID controller, displacement sensor to the AMB.
and cabinet, etc. The rotor is suspended by three active magnetic
bearings (AMB). A mathematical model of the system is deduced
and each degree of freedom motion is treated separately for the
control system. PID control is applied to the AMB. The
experiments have been carried out to measure the dynamic
response of the rotor to direct disturbance. The results indicate
that the PID controller possesses good performance.

Keywordsenergy storage; flywheel; active magnetic bearings;

PID control
Recently, saving energy effectively has become very
important. Thus, energy-saving technology for surplus power
has attracted more and more attention. A flywheel energy
storage system is one of the valuable energy-saving Figure1. Schematic illustration of the flywheel energy storage system.
technologies. The system is very simple and characterized by
high energy saving compared with other energy storage B. Model
There are one translational motion in the vertical direction z
In this paper, a prototype of flywheel energy storage system and two rotational motions, roll x and pitch y . The coordinate
is proposed. The rotor is suspended by three active magnetic system and the mathematical model of the system are shown in
bearings (AMB) to constrain three degrees of freedom along z- Fig.2.
axis and about x-axis and y-axis. The other three degrees of
freedom about z-axis and along x-axis and y-axis are to be st at or
passively constrained by edge effect[3]. Active magnetic z
bearings are ideally suited for high-speed and vacuum
applications due to their contact free operation, low friction y
losses, adjustable damping and stiffness characteristics[4]. x y
During normal operation, there is a 12.5mm air-gap between x z
the disk-shaped rotor surfaces and the stator. PID control
method is applied to the flywheel energy storage system. The (a)
dynamics of the energy storage system is discussed.


S3 r ot or z
A. Structure f3 a f2
A prototype miniature flywheel energy storage system has a a x
been developed. The schematic illustration of the flywheel S2
energy storage system is shown in Fig.1 [2].The system
y (c)
consists of a disk-shaped rotor, active magnetic bearing, PID (b)
controller, displacement sensor and cabinet, etc. The disk-
Figure2. Mathematical model of the flywheel energy storage system.
This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China
(No. 50675163)

978-1-4244-2487-0/09/$25.00 2009 IEEE

It is assumed that the roll and pitch angles are so small The relationships between i1, i2, i3 and x1, x2, x3 are decided
that cos x 1 sin x x sin y y , cos y 1, where by the control strategy. It can be written as (5).
x , y are the roll and pitch angles of the rotor. The motion z zb fzd

equations of the rotor can be written as (1). Then writing q = x , qb = 0 , Fd = mx d
0 my d
<< y
z f z f zd From (1) to (5), the dynamics equation of the system can be
<< written as:
[ M ] x = mx + mxd (1) <<
<< m m d M q = ki ABCq + k x ACq + k x ACqb + Fd (6)
y y y
Where M = diag(mJxJy)
3 1
m is the mass of the rotor; 1 1 1 1 a a
Jx is the inertial momentum of the rotor about x-axis; 2 2
3a 3a
Jy is the inertial momentum of the rotor about y-axis; A = 0 , C = 1 0 a
fz is the z-direction electromagnetic force produced by the 2 2
a a 1 3 1
three active magnetic bearings; a a a
mx is the moment about x-axis by the three active magnetic 2 2
2 2
B is decided by the control strategy.
my is the moment about y-axis by the three active magnetic
C. Control system configuration
f zd is the z-direction direct disturbance;
The developed flywheel storage system is a three-channel
m yd is the direct disturbance about the x-axis; multiple-input multiple output system. The coil current of each
m yd is the direct disturbance about the y-axis; magnets is controlled on the basis of local information at the
corresponding position as shown in Fig. 3[5]. From Fig. 1, it
Three magnetic bearings are located at the vertices of an can be seen that the positions detected by sensor 1, 2, 3 are not
equilateral triangle. The total force and torques are related with the electromagnet gap, which requires to be transformed into
the electromagnetic forces generated by the three active the displacement signals of the magnets respectively.
magnetic bearings as (2).
sensor 1 cont r ol l er 1 i1
1 1 1
fz f1 f1 X2
3a 3a
mx = A f 2 = 0 2

f2 sensor 2 cont r ol l er 2 i2
my f
3 f
a a 3 X3
2 2 sensor 3 cont r ol l er 3 i3

(2) Figure3. Diagram of local control.

Where fk is the attractive force of the active magnetic bearing
k(k=1, 2, 3) and a is the distance of the active magnetic bearing Controller is the core link to achieve stable levitation of the
from the center. flywheel storage system. Thus the real time accuracy and
The force of each active magnetic bearing is approximately stability of the system should be fully considered. According to
given by (3). dynamics (6), a decoupling control system is designed as
fk=kiik+kxxk (3) shown in Fig. 4, where Gc(s) is the controller, Gp(s) is the
Where xk is the deviation of the gap between the electromagnet power amplifier, Gs(s) is the sensor.
and the rotor, ik is the control current. Controller Power Amplifier
The gaps are related with the displacements as (4). Uo Ue
Gc (s) D/A Gp (s)
disk-shaped rotor

3 1 + _

x1 z zb 1 2 a 2 a z zb
x = C - 0 = 1 0

a x + C 0 (4) s1
2 x
1 y
Gs (s)
x3 0
y 1 3
a a s2
2 2 A/D Gs (s)
i1 x1
Gs (s)
i = B x (5)
2 2 Figure4. Block diagram of the control system.
i3 x3
PID control strategy is widely used in the control system
because of its advantages, such as simple principle, easiness to
implement and so on. Here integral separate PID control
strategy is adopted to prevent the disk-shaped rotor from
floating at the beginning of floating or output significant
deviations at the end, which will cause PID computing integral
accumulation. Integral separation is set an artificial domain of
according to the actual situation, adopting PD control
strategy while the error is big and PID control strategy is
adopted when the error is small. The specified realization steps
are as following:
1) In accordance with the actual situation, set a threshold
value>0; Figure 6. Displacement curve.
2) While error ( k ) > ,use PD control;

3) While error ( k ) , use PID control, to ensure

accuracy of the control system.


The schematic diagram of the manufactured flywheel
storage energy system for experiment study is shown in Fig. 5.
The area of the magnetic pole is 2.5210-4 m2, single-pole turn
2400, bias current 2.5A, offset position 12.5mm. Half-bridge
switching power amplifier is adopted to provide 120V DC
strong power-supply voltage. The gap between the rotor and
the stator is measured by eddy current displacement sensor. Figure 7. Control current curve.
Conversion ratio of 12bit A/D is 60 s. Sampling rate of 12 bit
is 100 s and the control cycle is approximately 1ms.

Figure 5. Flywheel energy storage system. Figure 8. Displacement curve under disturbance.

When the disk-shaped rotor was suspended from floating to

stability, the displacement and corresponding control current
curve are shown as Fig. 6 and Fig. 7.
It can be seen that the system achieved stable suspension
after 0.9 second, the gap between the displacement sensor and
the disk-shaped rotor is 8mm smaller than that of the
electromagnet and the rotor.
Vertical disturbance and horizontal disturbance were
respectively added to the system when the rotor suspended
stable, the corresponding rotor displacement and the control
current curve are shown in Fig. 8 and Fig. 9.

Figure 9. Control current curve under disturbance.

It can be seen from Fig.8, the oscillation is lager when ACKNOWLEDGMENT
vertical disturbance was added than horizontal disturbance, but The authors acknowledge financial support from National
still within the scope of the work. After less than 5s self- Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 50675163).
adjusting, the rotor achieved stable suspension.
It can be seen from Fig.9 larger control current is needed REFERENCES
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